Tips For Caregiver's

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more disoriented after dark or when waking. Leaving a night-light on in the bedroom may be helpful.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shopping for Gowns

I decided Muddear needed a few new items of clothing, specifically gowns. As you would expect, she is very particular when it comes to her gowns. I remember the first few times I helped Muddear get ready for bed, I would say, "Muddear, it is time to put on your pajamas so you can get ready for bed." She would look up at me and reply, "I don't wear pajamas, I wear gowns." Immediately, all bedtime activities would cease, until Muddear was clear that I understood this fact. I like to pride myself in being pretty quick on the draw, so I stopped saying pajamas.

As a 35-year-old woman in good health, I have never dealt with the type of physical impairment Muddear experiences daily. One day she explained, "I don't wear pajamas because of the pants. They are too difficult to handle when I have to go to the bathroom." Never having debated the pajamas versus gown topic with anyone, it did not dawn on me that the pants would pose a dilemma. Muddear's partiality to gowns doesn't stop there. She doesn't wear, short gowns, tight gowns, boat neck gowns, thin gowns, or sleeveless gowns. She also refuses to wear gowns with splits in the front, back, side, or otherwise. And finally, Muddear does not like any material in dark colors meaning navy blue, black, charcoal grey, or chocolate brown.

As you can imagine, shopping for gowns is not always an easy task. I typically have had success shopping at Sears; unfortunately, all of my errands recently were nowhere near Sears. Therefore, last night on a whim I decided to try Dillards. In the past, I have not liked their selection or prices, but I was hoping for a miracle. To my surprise, Dillards must have stocked up on "old lady" gowns. What are the odds that I would walk away with four gowns - all pastels; one short sleeve, two 3/4 length sleeves, and one long sleeve; all mid-calf to floor length in a size medium. Muddear may be five feet tall and weigh 100 pounds, but she would not dare wear a petite or gown sized small! Why? "I don't like nothing fittin tight on my body!"


Anonymous said...

Nikki, what a beautiful lady she is! And how blessed she is to have you!

Nikki said...

Thank you. I look forward to reading more of your Blog and getting to know your story.

Patricia said...

Hello Nikki, I have just read your beautiful blog having found it on Shirl's site. Your Grandmother is some lady and I just love the name Muddear you have given her. She is one lucky lady to have you shopping for her and I am sure the gowns are all beautiful and will suit her to a tee. Bless you for looking after her my dear, she looks so well cared for.

Nikki said...

Thanks Patricia! I am excited to have the opportunity to touch the lives of others through my experiences. I appreciate you for taking the time to read about my "journey" as a caregiver. Having Muddear in my life at this time has been a blessing, even when it has been difficult.

Cara said...

I found your blog on the caregivers sight for dementia caregivers. Thank you for understanding. I am 41 I have a son 19 at home, loving husband and my dad 82 whom I care for and mom 80 who thank God can get around herself. Thank you for saying the things I think every day. We understand they have minds (at times) like 2 year olds and have to be reminded all the time the same stuff. My dad's latest is #2 in the pants and then thinking his hand is toilet paper. I tell him 10 x's a day reminding him to just leave it in his depends, but I guess he thinks he's helping somehow. How do you handle nightime incontenance? Again, thanks. Cara

Nikki said...


Thanks for signing on and reading Dementia Thoughts. You are a wonderful person for caring for your dad. It is a sacrifice that many people today do not make. Nighttime incontinence? I have been blessed that Muddear does not experience incontinence...yet. So far our greatest difficulty has been her inability to wipe well, which results in soiled clothes - daily. Contact your dad's doctor for advice or your local Council On Aging (COA). The COA should have someone dedicated to providing assistance/advice to caregivers of loved ones with Dementia/Alzheimers.